Food Philosophy

This has been in my head for a lot of days, and I have not been able to put it in a coherent write-up. So I hope I can today. All chefs - professional, amateur or otherwise have what can be generically called 'food philosophy'. I don't know how many are able to articulate their particular philosophy. Food Philosophy - as I understand it, is what you believe food should be, how your culture has shaped those ideas; how, when you eat you look out for certain indicators like flavours, colours, combinations, even unconsciously. So when you cook - your food will revolve around what you think food should be like - how you would like it to be.

I have heard a lot of opinions - most famous being the "I eat to live, I live to eat" - and that’s where food philosophy begins - for me. Food is so vast, so varied, with so much cultural influence - which any given recipe talks to you about where it has come from. Each recipe uses the freshest ingredients - available in the region where it originated and season for which it was meant for. Science made it possible to get the same, fresh ingredients all over the world in any season (and canned food made it to supermarket shelves years ago). Then there is fast food, comfort food, home food, healthy food, fine dining, restaurant style food, bistro style food, take aways, heat and eat, molecular gastronomy...

I personally am still trying to articulate my food philosophy - I know I have one (because only I know how fussy I can be). Food, cooking and eating is for me magic. The way food transforms, the way flavours merge, standing out yet complementing other flavours, the colours, the textures.
A few months back when I saw a recipe which was categorised under 'molecular gastronomy' which from what I have understood is cooking food using highly scientific chemical processes (like using liquid nitrogen!) to transform food into many forms. The result are no doubt beautiful, but then there are two ways to look at it - what about the flavour and nutrition (because after all we want to eat not just look right?); or why not experiment, isn't that what fine dining is about?

I know now, Food philosophy is what you believe about food, how you like your food, what you disagree with, how you cook. It’s not about what others think, its what about you think, Are you cooking for yourself, are you cooing for someone or both?

So do you have Food Philosophy?


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